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Loliondo `cup` potency crops up in parliament

12th November 2011
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Kinondoni legislator Iddi Azan asks a question in the National Assembly in Dodoma during yesterday’s morning session. (Photo: Omar Fungo)

Kinondoni legislator Idd Azan (CCM) has advised the government to make a quick research on the efficacy of the traditional therapy administered by retired pastor Ambilikile Mwasapila by sampling MPs and ministers who went for the ‘cup’ at Samunge village in Loliondo district, Arusha region.

According to him, there were several MPs and ministers who were reported by the media to have partaken of the therapy, hence it would be easy to establish the concoction's potency through their testimony.

“I think it would be wise for the government to hear testimies from our colleagues who have been administered the medicine because scientific research has taken long to complete,” he noted.

Health and Social Welfare minister Dr Hadji Mponda said that it wasn’t possible to depend on the testimonies from legislators and ministers for scientific purposes because the government’s intention is to get scientific results from a sample of not less than 200 people.

He said that so far they had completed all the processes to start conducting the research, which would be jointly done by the Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH), the government and the World Health Organization's (WHO) Africa zone based in Brazzaville.

Dr Mponda said the multi-centre study would involve 200 people and a research proposal had already been completed. He said the main hindrance to its implementation was lack of funds since it was expected to cost a lot of money.

“We would have started conducting the research but we are yet to access funds. I would like to appeal to the public and members of parliament to be patient while waiting for the scientific research results”, he said.

Elaborating, he said that since the research was yet to be completed, it was not possible to know the exact number of people who had died owing to non-efficacy of the concoction since no deaths were being directly reported to his office.

The minister said that a total of 116 people were reported dead due to several reasons while at Samunge village, adding that some of them died while still in the queue while others died even before they were administered with the 'miracle' cure.

Dr Mponda said that the government made a follow-up on their deaths and discovered that the deceased had died from various health complications.

He said 43 of the patients were suffering from diabetes, 20 had high blood pressure (BP) while 17 patients were HIV/Aids positive.

Other patients and their diseases in brackets were 19 (tuberculosis), 6 (cancer) and 11 patients who died from unspecified diseases.

He said that earlier the ministry had conducted a research which showed that the 'miracle' cure was safe and fit for human consumption.

In his principal question, Temeke MP Abbas Mtemvu had wanted to get government clarification on the efficacy of the cure being administered by retired pastor Ambilikile Mwasapila.

The MP also had wanted to know the exact number of people who had died since the retired pastor started to offer the services.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN
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